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Skidmore College
Dean of the Faculty/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Endowed Chairs

Endowed Chairs were established through the generous donations of friends of Skidmore College. The goals of the respective chairs vary according to the intentions of those donors and the needs of the institution at the time of their establishment.  Most chairs were established to recognize the considerable talents, accomplishments, and leadership of members of the Skidmore faculty across a range of disciplines and departments.  In some cases, faculty members from particular departments or programs are recognized or faculty members are recruited from outside the College for appointment to endowed chairs.  An endowed professorship confers honor upon the recipient, the relevant department or program and the College.

Process for appointment

The Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs (DOF/VPAA) determines appointments to endowed chairs.  The nomination and selection processes that lead to such appointments, as well as the terms of the different chairs, vary depending on the goals of each chair.  Nominations are submitted by faculty to the DOF/VPAA, who consults with the Promotions Committee (PC) and appropriate department chairs and program directors.

Current endowed chairs:  

Term professorships (which will come to an end unless renewed or made permanent by the donor):

Of the current endowed chairs and term professorships, one is dedicated to the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery: the Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery.  In addition, the F. William Harder Chair of Business Administration is used to recruit a distinguished business leader to the Management and Business Department for a two-year term; the appointment is renewable up to five years.  [Note: the Zankel Chair in Management is currently a permanent appointment, but, at the next appointment, will rotate or be renewed as under A. below.]

Length of Appointment

All appointments to endowed chairs are made for five years. 

Of the appointments to endowed chairs and term professorships, most will rotate among eligible faculty.  A few (see B. below) will always rotate.

Renewal of an appointment for an additional five years is not pro forma.  A proposal to renew an appointment will include:

  • a review of the term to date
  • a rationale from the department chair or program director
  • consultation with PC, the department or program director, and the donor (if appropriate). 

Under exceptional circumstances, renewal may be possible more than once. 

A.     Rotating but renewable appointments:

  • The Charlotte Lamson Clarke '53 Chair in Art History
  • The Robert Davidson Chair in Art
  • The Douglas Family Chair in American Culture, History, and Literary and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • The Kenan Chair of Liberal Arts
  • The Charles Lubin Family Chair for Women in Science (has been used for recruitments)
  • The Joseph C. Palamountain Jr. Chair in Government
  • The David H. Porter Chair at Skidmore College
  • The Quadracci Chair in Social Responsibility
  • The Frances Young Tang ’61 Chair in Chinese Studies
  • The Tisch Chair in Arts and Letters
  • The Harriet Johnson Toadvine '56 Chair in 20th Century History
  • The Ella Van Dyke Tuthill '32 Chair in Studio Art
  • The Susan Kettering Williamson '59 Chair in Neuroscience
  • The Zankel Chair in Management for Liberal Arts Students

B.     Rotating appointments:

  • The Class of 1948 Chair for Excellence in Teaching
  • The Courtney and Steven Ross Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • The Tisch Family Distinguished Professorship
  • The term professorships

Administrators and Chairs

While current members of the administration are not eligible for appointment to an endowed chair, a faculty member appointed to an administrative position while holding an endowed chair may continue to hold the chair, if he or she wishes, until the term is complete.  No stipend will be given to administrators holding these appointments. 

Titles of former Chair Holders

Former chair holders may, if they wish, include the term of their endowed chair in their titles.  Thus, a faculty member might be designated: John/Joan Faculty, Class of 1964 Chair for Leadership in the Sciences (2000-2005). 

Benefits for Endowed Chairs

Those appointed to endowed chairs or term professorships may select from the following menu of benefits in consultation with department chairs/program directors and the DOF/VPAA.

  • A course release per year or a stipend of $7,000. (No faculty member may teach fewer than 2 courses per year, including releases for departmental or institutional administration, grant-supported releases, and release for an endowed-chair appointment.)
  • 80% of full-year salary for next sabbatical if all 5 courses are banked and no stipend taken for 5 years
  • 75% support for next sabbatical if 4 courses are banked and no stipend taken for 4 years
  • 70% support for next sabbatical if 3 courses are banked and no stipend taken for 3 years

Responsibilities of Endowed Chairs

Those appointed to endowed chairs will project a plan of work for the term of the appointment and complete a report at the end of the term; they will communicate annually with donors (assuming that is possible), providing a report of the year’s activities by November 15th and sending this same annual report to the DOF/VPAA; they will fulfill other obligations as appropriate to the specific description of the chair.